Edna St. Vincent Millay

(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)

If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way - Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay

IF I should learn, in some quite casual way,
That you were gone, not to return again—
Read from the back-page of a paper, say,
Held by a neighbor in a subway train,
How at the corner of this avenue
And such a street (so are the papers filled)
A hurrying man—who happened to be you—
At noon to-day had happened to be killed,
I should not cry aloud—I could not cry
Aloud, or wring my hands in such a place—
I should but watch the station lights rush by
With a more careful interest on my face,
Or raise my eyes and read with greater care
Where to store furs and how to treat the hair.

Comments about If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  • Sara Militello (11/1/2015 1:07:00 AM)

    Millay was known for her indifference to many a former lover after the heat of passion was spent. This poem, in my opinion reflect such an indifference. When she loved she loved passionately and forever and it had little to do with the sexual experience or lack of it. Her opinion of sex was that it was a hunger that once sated, one had not to think of it any more than one would think of every meal one had enjoyed. She was an avowed realist and I think she carried that realistic attitude a few steps further than many of us have managed to achieve. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (5/17/2014 10:55:00 AM)

    This piece just tugs at the heartstrings and brings a tear to the eye. Can feel the subjects desire to disbelieve what is so sadly true. Love this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (3/22/2008 3:21:00 PM)

    This poem reaches into your soul and twists your heart so that you feel every moment of the situation, it speaks to you on such an intimate level that you can put yourself in the poets place. It made me cry. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: hair

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

[Report Error]